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While waiting for my 3046R/320r/72" 4 in 1 bucket to be delivered, I'm trying to read and learn as much as I can about proper operations.

I've read about ballast and plan to have a full box of concrete (probably with ext) on the back when using the loader. If I understand correctly, that is intended to offset the loader weight at maximum lift on level ground.

The capacity of the bucket is 4.5 cubic feet, or 1/6 yard. That amount of Class 5 weighs about 475# and the empty bucket weighs 425#. About 900# FULL, so things should be in the "safe" range.

I'm guessing that a considerable margin of safety could be gained by taking a half a scoop of dirt when operating under less than ideal conditions. Probably easier, safer and less strain on equipment than trying to add even more weight to the back.

Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?

Thanks,
Mike
 

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While waiting for my 3046R/320r/72" 4 in 1 bucket to be delivered, I'm trying to read and learn as much as I can about proper operations.

I've read about ballast and plan to have a full box of concrete (probably with ext) on the back when using the loader. If I understand correctly, that is intended to offset the loader weight at maximum lift on level ground.

The capacity of the bucket is 4.5 cubic feet, or 1/6 yard. That amount of Class 5 weighs about 475# and the empty bucket weighs 425#. About 900# FULL, so things should be in the "safe" range.

I'm guessing that a considerable margin of safety could be gained by taking a half a scoop of dirt when operating under less than ideal conditions. Probably easier, safer and less strain on equipment than trying to add even more weight to the back.

Is my thinking correct or am I missing something?

Thanks,
Mike
If you are moving slow and on level and hard ground then with proper ballast you can lift until the hydraulics refuse to lift any more. As you add more ground speed, lift height, softer ground, or unlevel ground then you will want to start cutting back on your load to be safe. There is no hard rules that say you can carry X amount of weight safely on Y slope at Z height. If you are carrying anything on a slope make sure to engage 4wd. Since tractors do not have front brakes unless in 4wd. It’s very easy to loose sufficient traction on a slope using the rear tires alone. Also when driving with any nontrivial load you should keep your hand on the loader control. That way it the tractor starts to tip you can slam forward on the control to drop the loader to the ground. This should stop the tractor from going over if you are fast enough.


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2017 2038r 72” MMM Command Cut 220r loader
 

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There's a sticky on ballast:

https://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/implements-attachments/4363-what-rear-ballast-why-do-you-need.html

Basically, ballast is needed to offset the weight on the front axle, and keep the back end down (where most of the weight should be) as it is stronger than the front. And the front axle is on a pivot, so if the back end comes up then there is nothing keeping the front level. This is just the basic premise, there is a lot of information in the link.

BTW, if you are moving, ALWAYS keep the bucket as low as possible to keep your center of gravity low. Raise the bucket to dump when you arrive at your destination. A heavy bucket high can flip you before you ever feel it going over. Be safe.

Just my 2 cents.
 

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Tomfive, I think your 2 cents is more like 2K cents! Keeping the bucket low is very, VERY important and even an empty bucket becomes a heavy bucket when fully raised. Another helpful hint is to keep your bucket curled slightly up when travelling. Curled down/below level, a high spot in the ground can stop the tractor, throwing the operator forward. You'd probably only end up with a few cracked/broken ribs when you hit the steering wheel, but curled up, you'll slide over the high spot! Common sense goes a long way! Bob
 

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The enemy of any small frame tractor or skid loader is uneven or soft ground. The tractor is only as good as its footing. Avoid lifting or carrying loads while on the side of a hill or traversing on sloppy ground. Carrying a load low when moving is a good bit of advice, lifting at the end to pile or place in a trailer.

I would expect that you will feel out exactly what your tractor will and wont do quickly. A loader becomes fairly intuitive with just a little use.

I don't have any experience with the 3 series loaders but I would expect you will see some flex in the loader arms if you are doing something it does not like. The small tractors seem to run out of traction far before really getting into a spot where you can damage something.

The biggest skill I see people take time with is understanding where the cutting edge is and how it affects what you are doing. Its the difference between digging a hole or just moving the pile. I would recommend fooling around with it and just moving some dirt if you are new to get the hang of your tractor and loader before you go and try to make a garage pad or something that requires a bit of precision.
 

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There's a sticky on ballast:

https://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/implements-attachments/4363-what-rear-ballast-why-do-you-need.html

Basically, ballast is needed to offset the weight on the front axle, and keep the back end down (where most of the weight should be) as it is stronger than the front. And the front axle is on a pivot, so if the back end comes up then there is nothing keeping the front level. This is just the basic premise, there is a lot of information in the link.

BTW, if you are moving, ALWAYS keep the bucket as low as possible to keep your center of gravity low. Raise the bucket to dump when you arrive at your destination. A heavy bucket high can flip you before you ever feel it going over. Be safe.

Just my 2 cents.
Never start raising a bucket load while turning or planning to turn. As Tomfive said "it can flip you before you ever feel it going over" It might save time to raise as you approach, but the time saved will never make up for putting your tractor on it's side.
 

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The enemy of any small frame tractor or skid loader is uneven or soft ground. The tractor is only as good as its footing. Avoid lifting or carrying loads while on the side of a hill or traversing on sloppy ground. Carrying a load low when moving is a good bit of advice, lifting at the end to pile or place in a trailer.

I would expect that you will feel out exactly what your tractor will and wont do quickly. A loader becomes fairly intuitive with just a little use.

I don't have any experience with the 3 series loaders but I would expect you will see some flex in the loader arms if you are doing something it does not like. The small tractors seem to run out of traction far before really getting into a spot where you can damage something.

The biggest skill I see people take time with is understanding where the cutting edge is and how it affects what you are doing. Its the difference between digging a hole or just moving the pile. I would recommend fooling around with it and just moving some dirt if you are new to get the hang of your tractor and loader before you go and try to make a garage pad or something that requires a bit of precision.
One way to level your bucket, front to rear. Curl the bucket back, lower your boom and put it into "float". Uncurl/dump your bucket while watching the top of the boom arms. As soon as the boom arms start to raise, you have gone slightly past level. Slowly curl the bucket until the boom arms drop and the bucket will be level.
 

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Don't forget tire inflation. The fronts should be at the maximum the tire is rated for. The rears should be the same psi in each. If they are not the same, you will not be level side to side when on level ground.
 

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Question

1. What about backing up when you have bucket full in front how would the stability be baking st. down the hill
2. I have done this once there is mention in an article above
2 WD tractor stuck in lose sand raised the empty bucket all the way up and the added weight on rear wheels got me out as soon as
free bucket back down this is a desperation move only
 

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lots of good advice previous......low n slow....4wd....air pressure...ballast...keeping edge up..turning...soft ground....etc


one thing i havent seen mentioned is ....its common for newbies to get a bucket full of anything and tilt it full back...then raise it to full height...if the loader isnt a self leveling loader they then dump some of the load back on themselves or the hood to the tractor..this can also happen backing down hill with a load raised high...
 

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If you're doing loader work, make sure your ROPS is up and your seatbelt is on.


And, if you keep your tractor in the garage, make sure you put the ROPS back down so you don't become a member of the "I hit my garage door frame with my ROPS" club!! When I put my ROPS up, I put an orange traffic cone in front of my garage door. That way I have to move it in order to get the tractor back in and that should remind me to put the ROPS back down. As I'm getting older, I probably need to write "Remember to put your ROPS down, you big dummy" in permanent marker on the traffic cone! :laugh:
 

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Or if you have the ROPS up just hit the garage fast enough that it cuts an opening so you never have to fold the ROPS again.


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2017 2038r 72” MMM Command Cut 220r loader
 

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1. What about backing up when you have bucket full in front how would the stability be baking st. down the hill
2. I have done this once there is mention in an article above
2 WD tractor stuck in lose sand raised the empty bucket all the way up and the added weight on rear wheels got me out as soon as
free bucket back down this is a desperation move only
#2. I wouldn't recommend it for 2 reasons.
1. If you are "stuck" the likelihood of spinning tires digging into soft soil at potentially different rates, or the soft soil giving out beneath the tractor is high. Putting the loader all the way up raises the center of gravity and thus the likelihood of a tip over in that instance.
2. If you have a loader, why aren't you using the loader to help push you out? In my experience, you have to be REALLY stuck to not be able to push yourself out with the loader.
 

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1. What about backing up when you have bucket full in front how would the stability be baking st. down the hill
2. I have done this once there is mention in an article above
2 WD tractor stuck in lose sand raised the empty bucket all the way up and the added weight on rear wheels got me out as soon as
free bucket back down this is a desperation move only
Were you asking about raising the bucket all the up to get unstuck? Or are you saying you have done this? :dunno:

I would have used the bucket to try and push the stuck tractor out. I have stuck a mfwd tractor and had to dump the load in order to use the bucket to help free the tractor.
 

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A ton of good advice already given, it should be mentioned though:

Carrying a load low and slow is not just for rollover safety, the front axle on these CUTs are real beefy, you do not want to get that front end bouncing with a load on the FEL.
 

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Due to a couple of posts mentioning using the loader to push a stuck tractor out........a newbie might not understand what that means and how to do it...


you do this by raising the bucket above the ground....putting the bucket in its most fullest dump position......lowering the bucket to the ground sticking the frount edge of the bucket into the ground lifting the frount of the tractor up a small bit.....then use the loader control to curl the bucket back up .....this will push the tractor backwards 6"-12" ....then do it over and over and you can move a stuck tractor backwards by bucket curl force alone step by step ....
 

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I'm little late to the thread but thought I'd throw in another comment or two. When I was learning to use my previous Kubota (about 30 hp) I was helping a buddy clean out a drainage ditch and I came really close to going on my side - scared the crap out of me.

You will eventually get into a precarious situation, recognize it as quickly as possible and immediately stop whatever you were doing. Assess the situation and figure out how extricate you and the tractor. Keep your hand on the loader control if you think you might be in a tippy situation and be ready to immediately lower the bucket.

Even with hundreds of hours of operating my Kubota and then my 4720 I almost had a bad moment using my grapple to move a very heavy rock - it was probably 1500 pounds and I was going at a crawl and a front tire moved into a slight dip and I was on the verge of tipping over. I immediately lowered the grapple when I had that seat of the pants feel and the almost crisis was over.

With my excavator I'm going through the learning phase all over again learning what the machine can do, I have 35 hours in the seat now and I'm fairly confident of what angle I can safely use it. Bottom line is I don't ever want to push the safe operating envelope of any piece of equipment.
 
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